Dive into the mesmerising world of histology as we unveil the fascinating process behind preparing microscopic slides – a journey that transforms ordinary specimens into intricate works of scientific art!
Here are four key steps:
- Tissue Fixation:
- The first step involves fixing the tissue to preserve its structure. Common fixatives include formaldehyde or other chemicals that prevent decay and maintain cellular integrity.
- Tissue Processing:
- After fixation, the tissue undergoes dehydration, clearing, and impregnation with a substance such as paraffin wax. Dehydration removes water from the tissue, clearing replaces the dehydrating agent with a substance that is compatible with paraffin, and impregnation ensures the tissue is embedded in a solid medium for slicing.
- The processed tissue block is then sectioned into thin slices using a microtome. These slices are typically around 5 to 7 micrometers thick. The sections are mounted on glass slides for further processing.
- The final step involves staining the tissue sections to enhance contrast and highlight specific structures. Various staining methods, such as hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, are used to differentiate between different cell types and structures.